If you measure your social media success by Facebook ‘Likes’, get ready for a little disappointment on March 12th.

According to an alert message that Facebook is sending to it’s advertising and page managers, they’re planning to release an update soon because they have changed “the way we measure how many people like your Page.”  The alert message goes on to say that your Page may see a “decrease in likes after March 12, when we remove likes from inactive Facebook accounts.”

Please, don’t let this cause you to have any panic attacks.  The Facebook likes decrease on March 12 is actually a VERY good thing.  Let me explain a bit…

If you’ll recall, I wrote a blog post in July of 2014 about Facebook marketing facts that I thought all marketers should be aware of.  In that post, I talked a great deal about fake likes, click farms, and even like farms.  I really suggest that you read that blog post before continuing with this one, because it will make much more sense.

Essentially, Facebook is (finally) taking steps to get rid of their fake users that were created for the purpose of click farming and like farming.  I don’t know their exact methods of doing this, but I would assume that they are calling “inactive accounts” what I would hope – accounts that are mostly from overseas that like hundreds or even thousands of pages, ads, and posts every day without posting much content of their own.  Hopefully, Facebook will continue to kill off these inactive accounts, because although they may bolster your Page’s likes, they’re really only hurting your online presence and reach in the long run.

The reason for that is because of the way that Facebook’s algorithm decides whether or not to display your content to someone, which is also explained in the July 2014 blog post that I mentioned earlier.  If Facebook can truly get rid of these kinds of issues, their site will be progressively more useful to marketers AND consumers, and the ROI for advertisers will continue to improve.

Long story short: yes, your page likes are probably going to take a dive on March 12, but this is actually good news for your Page and all the content that you post there.

Have a great week, everyone!